Sunday, September 30, 2007


More of my winged neighbors, sunbirds survive mainly on nectar, although they may snack on the occasional insect. Their nectar extraction equipment include: a long, slender, decurved bill with fine serration along the margins of both mandibles; and a tubular, deeply cleft tongue.
This is a plain-throated male sunbird that was feeding in my garden.
The females in the sunbird family are all little plain janes.I have waited months for this little crimson sunbird to appear in my garden.


I spent much of the morning chasing these shy and elusive birds before I manage to sneak up on a courting pair. Even then the shots weren't took great as there was just too much vegetation between me and the birds.As for the rest of the birds, they were all in hiding today but I did get some great shots of the egrets to end my trip this morning.More posting to come from this morning's trip during the week.

Well Camouflaged

Launching off bright and early today, and the dragonfly here kind of says it all. These are some of my discoveries at the fresh water pond: -This was a chanced find as I was searching for damsel flies among the water plants.These are all males if I could use my four-lined tree frogs as a rule of thumb.These are the egg clusters that I found among the water plants. Pretty pink eggs that look like raspberries.
I also found tiny damsel flies the size of pins about 2 cm long and they were hard to spot and photograph.

Listen and Watch

Baby water monitor hiding among the hyacinths and it had a way of looking at it. Behind it were a pair of water hens lightly walking on water balancing on the hyacinths.I manage to get close enough for this shot.Over at the walkway over the river this momma and a little fur balls. Actually, momma and poppa were defending the babies from a juvenile monitor lizard.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


After a week of intense work, I'm very excited as I headed out to my weekend haunt. Each trip is the same, yet different as I becoming more observant and understand the ebb and flow of the tides in the reserve.
These are some of the scenes that I caught this morning, before my camera ran out of juice. Yup! it had to happen sooner or later. I forgot to charge my camera batter.
This lone fisherman was fishing off a sawed-off surf board in the low tide at the mouth of Sungei Buloh Besar.Not too far from where he was, another skilled fisher was also stalking prey. It stands very still and waits for its meal to come to it.I then chanced upon two squirrels that weren't timid as I approached them slowly. They fed on the ground no more than five feet from me.Once I had taken all the photos I wanted, I was able to walk by them without sending them scurrying away.This tiny little bird just won't stay still, it was a constant blur in the thicket. Here's what it looks like when it stayed still long enough for a single good shot. I cropped the photo for better clarity.Last but not the least, I finally got a shot of the shy and elusive collared kingfisher.Darn, I saw my first stork but I was out of power so I could only observe it feeding in the shallow water with my binoculars.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Amazing Nature

Thread softly, listen and watch carefully, you never know what you might see. I discovered that evening can also be just as wonderful as the light always has special quality.
However, be prepared to dodge the loud and noisy people who just don't know how to appreciate a nature reserve. Many walk the reserve talking loudly, what will they see or appreciate with all the noise that they are making. The funniest sights are the local ladies who are accompanying their foreign boyfriends to the reserve in sexy outfits and heels.
I use to guide people through the reserve but these days I will rarely do so. I only point out interesting things only if I recognize a fellow nature lover on the path.
Most people walked past the pond without realizing that there was a resident monitor lizard living there. I knew since the first day I revisited. Sunday afternoon, I noticed he was patrolling his pond and then I noticed there was a smaller lizard in the pond too. The pair was a mating pair and I managed to observe their ritual and photograph what I could without disturbing them.This was a grey heron perched on a submerged branch at the mouth of sungei buloh besar. Approach slowly and cautiously as these birds have very good eyesight. They take off immediately once you get within 20 feet from them. I wasn't able to get a better shot than this.I even got this skink to pose for me by respecting its space and not frightening it with fast movement. Good tai chi practice remember move s_l_o_w_l_y.Barnacals growing on mangrove roots of Api Api Putih (Avicennia alba). Below is the flower of the same mangrove tree.

Stork Bill Kingfisher

I was abandoning my morning trip and heading home when I heard a bird call. I followed the call of this bird and found it sitting on a branch trying to weather out the storm on the bank of the river. In this shot it is all round and fluffed up in its rainy weather gear.
I just can't get luckier than this, for when I went back again in the late afternoon. I found it again literally on the same branch as I was heading back over the bridge to head home. This time he's all slick and shiny and all business as he was hunting for his dinner as the tide came in. I just love this bird for the rich colors it possesses.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Interesting Scenes

Interesting color or lack there of but for faint sploshes.Jetty leading to the rookery.Dead tree with fishing net caught in it.This crab was strangely perched on the tree trunk and didn't move. I'm not sure if it's a live or dead.

Drangon Flies

The Jungle Cacophony

I did say I was extremely lucky today with finding my subjects. I finally got a great shot of a cicada just as I was leaving the nature reserve. Cicadas have large eyes set wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings and of course are known for their remarkable acoustic talents.

Mouths Full of Water

These are giant mud skippers and no they are not storing food in their mouths. They are holding water in their mouth and extract oxygen from the water. It's how they breath out of water and they walk too.
These two were like gangsters guarding their little pool of water and literally charging at others that came too close.They are so prehistoric when you look at these photos. I can imagine these creatures climbing out of the primordial ooze.These guys are big and not of the tiny garden variety.

My Best Woodpecker Shot

I got lucky here just by following the call of these woodpeckers and I managed to track one down on the low branchs. It was also in the righ position for a good shot. Rest of the shots were shit as it kept moving and the camera had a hard time focusing.

Camera Plastered To My Face

This is me if I'm not working or running around doing other stuff. My silhouette says it all.I was at Sungei Buloh again today and it was quite a rewarding trip with more sightings. These are some of my bird sightings. More migratory birds have arrived and the mud flats had more birds than last week.One of my favorites the water hen, they to me always look flightless but they can fly if the need arises.This grey heron waiting to catch its breakfast on the water's edge.Egret on the mud flats.This one took me a while to locate as it sat in the tree in front of me. I could hear it but couldn't see it, the little peaceful dove just blended in with the tree.